Taylor Rogers: What Healthcare Can Learn from StubHub and Baseball

September 29, 2021
Josie Rasberry

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For our second episode of season two, we were joined by Taylor Rogers, a benefits expert and co-founder of Cairn Advisors. Cairn Advisors is a partnership that guides employers through alternative health and welfare program design. He was previously an employee benefits consultant at USI and before that a senior sales consultant at Unum. Taylor sums it up well in his LinkedIn bio with this: 

“American businesses spend a lot of money providing healthcare and benefits to their employees, and they deserve to know and understand where their money is going. I help leadership teams understand the problem, and then we fix it the right way.”

Our host, Steven Cutbirth, sat down with Taylor to discuss what it looks like to design a health plan, and what Taylor’s time pitching for the SF Giants in pro baseball taught him and how he applies it to making healthcare better.

You can listen to the whole episode here or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever else you listen to podcasts. If you’re short on time, we’ve included a few highlights from our conversation below:

Steven: “Can you tell us a little bit about Cairn Advisors? What you do, what kinds of clients you work with, the vision behind starting the company?”

Taylor: “I guess the easiest way to tell it is a quick story. So I was sitting in the conference room at Thrive talking to Michael Jones, who's the CFO. And I said, ‘Hey, just by way of a quick exercise: how much loan volume do you guys have to generate to accrue a million dollars in net profit?’ And he kind of started doing some math on his phone and he said, ‘It's about $200 million of loan volume.’ And I said, ‘Wow, 200 million. How many loan officers does that take?’ And he said, ‘About 10 really good ones.’ And I said, ‘Okay. So what you're telling me is, if you could save a million dollars on healthcare by changing the way that you pay for imaging, CT scans, and surgeries, and just the way that you purchase healthcare in general, you could replace 10 high-performing loan officers while putting money back in the pockets of the people who actually do work here and give them lower deductibles and free healthcare. That sounds like a win-win.’ 

But this isn't just for mortgage banks or financial institutions, everyone should be doing this. And so as we've kind of gone further along, we've refined this to basically say, we exist to serve companies that are sick and tired of the same benefits conversation year after year. We're here for companies that are tired of increasing deductibles and out-of-pocket costs and shifting costs back to their employees. And they're tired of having poor visibility into where their dollars are going. And so that's ultimately what we're trying to solve and every company can start somewhere.”

Steven: “In the end, the individual employees or patients are the stakeholders that matter the most. How can we ensure they understand their benefits and know how to use them when they need to?

Taylor: “It's two-fold. You have to be proactively telling people how this stuff works, but also understand that we as human beings don't want to waste our mental, random access memory on things that aren't immediately relevant to us. So people need a wise person to turn to when that first question comes up. And that first interaction that they have is going to start them on a journey somewhere. And if it's sending you in the wrong direction, you now have to undo all of that. So it starts with getting them into a good primary care physician, getting them to some concierge-level that's going to help educate them on the plan. So for us, that first interaction that they have is the most meaningful and most impactful. Beyond that, this actually ventures into what you guys do. So I actually have a couple of questions for you on this front, when it comes to consumerism and employee behavior, obviously, that's near and dear to y'all's heart. I personally think we don't give people enough credit for their willingness to do research. We just don't give them the tools to do it. So let me ask you this, the last time you went to a sport, what was the last sporting event that you bought tickets for? 

Steven: “Oh, good question. I went to the Giants vs A’s game. I did research because I'm just a researcher. When I'm buying tickets, I look at StubHub, I look at Seat Geek, I look at all of them. In this case, because of COVID, they had just opened up the stadium. I was able to get like, you know, third-row seats because every seat was open. But to your point, I research and make sure when I'm going to buy those tickets that  I'm getting the best seat at the best price.

Taylor: “So here's the point I'm trying to make with this. When you go on Seat Geek or StubHub or Ticketmaster or any of these, they now have had to embrace that their platform is a research hub for people who are going to go to these events. So what do they do now? They give you vantage points where you can go and virtually sit in the seat and see what it looks like from there. They give you the prices of tickets and all these different sections. You get to see where they're at relative to the aisles, relative to different parts of the ballpark. And so before you make this decision, you can put all of that game day experience information along with the price to establish, 'Is this value for me?' So the example I use all the time is if my children, if something happened to them where they needed to see a pediatric neurosurgeon, or they had a mass in their brain or something like that, I would have less information to select their physician than I would going to your Astros vs Giants game or whatever it is. And it's mind-blowing.”

To hear the whole conversation, click here for the full podcast episode. You can also hear more from Taylor by checking him out on LinkedIn or Twitter or listening to his podcast, Cairn Cast. You can learn more about Cairn Advisors by visiting their website.

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Download The Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

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Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

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